The Miracle of Christmas Future set out a promising premise, advertised as futuristic magic performed by Charlie Caper, with his amazing robots, and Kevin Quantum, whose performances frequently incorporate his love of science. They easily deliver on this. While the show was not flawless, it had many magical and scientific highlights.
The most overtly futuristic element of the show is Quantum and Caper’s third performance partner, the artificial intelligence named Bob. Bob primarily functioned as an emcee for the human magicians, occasionally also rating their performances, and even taking her turn at performing a magic trick. While she was not convincing enough to make any reviewer or magician fear that they might soon be replaced by robots, her recurring participation in the show alluded to these exciting potentials for the future of AI.
This left the majority of the magic performed in Quantum and Caper’s able hands. An unexpectedly lovely highlight was Caper reading a sad Christmas story while performing complementary magic. This was an odd tonal choice, as it briefly brought the otherwise cheerful Christmas mood down several notches. The apparently random tone shift only highlighted the disjointed nature of the show as a whole, as aside from Bob’s work as a show runner there was little binding the elements performed together. This particular moment demonstrated that even that futuristic theme occasionally wavered. However, the beauty of Caper’s performance made its inclusion worthwhile.
The disjointed feel of the show did not just come from the lack of consistent use of theme, but also from the way that Caper and Quantum rarely actually performed together, instead taking turns with their tricks. This was a shame, as while no pairing could match the perfect connection between Caper and his robots, Quantum and Caper appeared to work well together when they did interact on stage.
Audience participation often seems to be one of the more challenging aspects of magic performance from the perspective of the watching members of the audience, as the wrong randomly chosen individual might not act according to the magician’s plan. This looked to be the case in Quantum and Caper’s final performance of this run when two children got a little too competitive with their onstage task. Quantum and Caper dealt this turn of events with professional aplomb. Quantum was especially impressive in his handling of the unrulier child.
The futuristic theme of The Miracle of Christmas Future comes naturally to both Caper and Quantum. It could perhaps even be the theme of each one of their individual magical careers. Watching them collaborate in sharing that passion with the audience was the most magical part of the evening.
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